Not Convinced Yet? More Reasons to Diagram with UML

April 1, 2011 | ,

We have found UML to be an extremely powerful tool and frequently use it to understand problems, design solutions, and broker stakeholder agreement.

I previously shared the fundamental reasons why we use UML, and wanted to share some additional reasons we find it to be an enabler for creating top-quality architecture diagrams:

  1. It is Icon Free. While the notation allows for creative use of icons, in practice the notation is pretty generic. This actually speeds the diagramming process as more time can be focused on content and less on form. In addition, it improves the readability of the diagram as the reader is not required to interpret context-specific symbols.
  2. It forces separation of concerns. There are different diagrams for different purposes. For UML novices – and even sometimes experts – this can be challenging. I sometimes find myself really struggling to add information to a diagram only to eventually realize that I am having a tough time because it doesn’t belong there! This “separation of concerns” means that each diagram can clearly communicate information without distractions. A picture that looks different from different angles is cool, an architecture diagram that does the same thing is not!
  3. Its notation is consistent. The core notation is consistent. It is easy to learn and easy to use. The complexity encountered when producing good UML artifacts should not be in understanding the notation, but in determining the correct content. That having been said, the exercise of refining the content stimulates the design process in addition to producing clear artifacts.

If you don’t already leverage it in your daily activities, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. It is an industry standard, so at the very least you can add it to your resume and increase your own market value!

See Systems Flow’s publications or other UML articles for more on our “special sauce”, and contact us if you want to learn!

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Dan Hughes

Was a principal consultant at Systems Flow, Inc.

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